SOLV Energy, SEI create new Women in Solar scholarship program
SOLV Energy and Solar Energy International (SEI) announced their partnership to develop the SEI Women in Solar Energy program to empower women around the world through solar training, networking, mentorship, and clean energy employer and work relationships.
The aim of this program is to create a global network of women considering career paths in the clean energy sector and to support solar professionals active in the industry and take their career to the next level. The program includes free access to the SEI Women in Solar Online Community for career resources and networking, a mentorship webinar series, and scholarships for SEI’s tuition-based online courses and annually SEI Women in Solar Hands-on Lab Week†
In SEI’s more than 30 years of educational service to the clean energy sector, it has served tens of thousands of women worldwide.
“As an organization, we are proud to lead one of the largest teams of female instructors, curriculum developers, employees and women of any solar training provider in the industry. That said, there’s still a lot of work to be done,” said Elizabeth Sanderson, SEI’s executive director.
The SOLV partnership enables SEI to develop more training opportunities with new pathways to the many different types of jobs in the solar industry.
The solar industry offers many job opportunities ranging from sales and finance to design and engineering, and other knowledge-based positions in addition to the jobs in the field. Women have played a vital role in the physically demanding installation aspect of the solar industry. These solar pioneers include many women in leadership roles who do the knowledge work necessary to help the industry thrive and grow.
According to the National Solar Censuswomen will represent just under 30% of the solar workforce in 2020. Other data point to the gender inequality that exists: only 28% of women in the solar industry hold managerial, director or presidential positions, and the differences are even greater for women of color.
Women of color in the solar industry report that they often have to prove their competence and face challenges in connecting with those responsible for hiring decisions. Data from the industry’s diversity survey reflects this trend: three of the top five recruiting methods used by survey respondents relied on personal and professional networks to fill open positions. SEI’s Women in Solar strives to build a diverse, equitable and inclusive clean energy workforce by providing programs and services to empower these underserved and marginalized communities of women.
“Promoting equality and inclusion in our teams makes for innovative, more resilient companies and a stronger solar industry,” said Jennifer Hershman, director of community relations for SOLV Energy. “There are incredible career opportunities for women of all backgrounds and experiences in solar, and SOLV Energy is excited to partner with SEI to open the doors to our industry for a more diverse workforce.”
News release from Solar Energy International (SEI)